The is a growing realization in the media and among the public that racial antagonism toward immigrants is threatening the continued existence of US democracy. Harlan Ullman, an award-winning United Press International columnist and author of a forthcoming book on this topic, writes that America's democracy i in acute danger. In a November 8 opinion piece in The Hill, he states as follows:

The Jan. 6 pillaging of the U.S. Capitol, continued denial of the 2020 presidential election results and action of some state legislatures to control how elections are run have caused many Americans to question whether democracy is at risk. And alas, the history of democracies dying dates back to the very first democracies, in Greece and Rome."

Ullman continues:

"Civility and respect for other citizens are prerequisites for a healthy democratic society. Clearly, hostility toward immigrants has been present since the nation's founding. But cleavages over race...and home of origin have arguably never been greater or more expansive.

The above is a polite way of saying that hatred of nonwhite immigrants, as is now being exploited by Donald Trump and the elected GOP state and national officeholders who support him, is a clear and present danger to our democracy.

But hostility toward brown and black immigrants is not limited to Donald Trump's racist rants or the attempts that he and Stephen Miller made to replace immigrant Human Rights with Crimes Against Humanity, by instituting policies such as family separation and Remain in Mexico.

To the contrary, hostility toward immigrants of color has been embedded in America's immigration system ever since the first Chinese exclusion law was enacted almost 140 years ago, in 1882. Large scale, top-to-bottom reform, going far beyond what even today's most coimmited immigrant rights advocates are now proposing, is needed.

I will explore some of the main elements of this reform, which is urgently needed to eliminate built-in injustices and racial discrimination form our legal immigration system, as well as enforcement against undocumented immigrants in upcoming installments in this series.

Stay tuned.

Roger Algase
Attorney at Law
Harvard College A.B.
Harvard Law School LL.B